‘You’re not paid enough to be worrying about patients when you go home.” I was told in my A&E induction. “Hand on the concern to your consultant and let them do the worrying.”
It’s well said, and an elegant way of reiterating that if you’re concerned, you should chat with a senior. I appreciate where it comes from. I appreciate the thought behind it.
Last night I turned my car around. I was halfway home and I drove back to A&E because I realised I’d made a mistake. ‘Worried’ does not cover how I felt. I felt sick. I walked back through the doors, went straight to the consultant, and explained what I had done. She was fairly unconcerned, but I still don’t know what happened to my patient. I have not slept well.
My decisions, and my mistakes, can have terrible consequences. A simple thing – a missed detail, a forgotten test result – puts someone’s life at risk. One day, chances are I will have killed someone. What if that day was today?
I don’t know if I’ll be able to deal with that.
No matter how much I was paid.